What Educators Do Right
Too many times others are quick to point their finger at educators and tell us what we do wrong. I am here as a parent, a grandparent, a community member, a teacher, and your MEA President to tell you the top 12 things you do right in my book (in no particular order).
- You love what you do and you show it when you always want to do just a little bit more.
- You share yourself with the students in your school and model what they hope to become.
- You give your time, your resources, your experience and your love even (especially) to those that are a little rough and scratchy.
- You sacrifice family time for “your kids.”
- You give students who are lost at this moment in time hope for the future.
- You work for the good of the community in which you work as much as for the community in which you live.
- You fight for your students’ rights even when it threatens your livelihood.
- You work way more than your contract says, and no, you don't have summers off.
- You respect differences, and you encourage kids to develop into successful, independent citizens who think for themselves.
- You laugh at yourself and with your students, and at the end of the day you can still laugh at the funny things that happen.
- You listen intently to children when they tell you things that break your heart and you cry silently (in the dark) in empathy when you can't solve all the problems.
- You educate parents who don't have the skills to parent, administrators who don't have the skills to lead, and governance that has forgotten what it is like to be a child.
You are incredible! You are awesome! You are amazing! You are our bus drivers, professors and food service workers. You are our techs, research assistants and teachers. You are our educational leaders, administrative assistants, clerks, and secretaries. You are our custodians, librarians, and public broadcasting employees. You are the MEA and your brothers and sisters are here to support you at every turn.
So when you hear people who don’t “get it” saying stupid comments about our profession, and when that finger is pointed in your direction, and when our state leaders don't want to pay you what you are worth and fight you at the negotiations table, and when others don't recognize how important you are to the fabric of a successful state for all our residents, I say remember we have each other's back.
Remember, together we are organized labor and we work for social and economic justice. Together we move this state we love forward because we work to improve the quality of life for working families. Together we advocate for equity for all our students because denying equal access to resources for education hurts not only our students, but also our communities.
You are the MEA and because of all the things you do that are right—and for all the right reasons—we have strong influence on the lives of our students. Thank you for this. Thank you for being a member. I hope you will have a successful beginning to another school year.